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ZTE Y8 Review: Affordable smartwatch for fitness and daily use


Smart watches from ZTE are a new direction. There were no own developments at the time of launch, so an inexpensive but stable development from an OEM partner was taken as a basis. The watch received a modest name ZTE Y8 without loud smart / sport / fitness-consoles in the name.

The design of the ZTE Y8 watch is discreet. The dimensions are relatively small – 36 by 40.5 mm. The model looks very neat on the hand. The body is plastic, and the display is covered with tinted glass with rounded edges. Modest thickness of 10 mm allows you to wear the watch with office shirts with long sleeves.

The bracelet is made of matt black, hypoallergenic thermoplastic elastomer. It feels like silicone. Width 19 mm.


The metal clasp is made of stainless steel. The design is classic. The strap has 14 rectangular holes for adjusting the girth of the wrist from 12 to 20 cm. The free end of the strap is fixed with a movable loop with an internal protrusion to cling to one of the free holes and not slip. Simple and convenient.


The strap can be easily removed if necessary. The most common type of mountings are spring-loaded bushings.


The inner side of the watch case houses a heart rate sensor and contacts for charging.


A special magnetic adapter is used as a charger.


Almost the entire face of the watch is occupied by tinted glass, behind which is a display with a useful area of ​​24 x 24 mm. Below is a touch-sensitive area for selecting menu items, marked with a barely visible round icon.


The only hardware button is located on the left side of the ZTE Y8. It is used to turn the clock on and off and return to menu items.


The 240 x 240 pixel color IPS display offers good viewing angles. Image detail is normal, individual pixels are not striking. In the screen settings, the brightness is selected from six preset levels. The maximum is enough for the image to be normally distinguishable in sunny weather.

Menu and dials

The watch menu is called up by touching the touch area below the display. Short “presses” switch between menu items, long ones work as confirmation of the choice. Returning back is carried out by pressing the side hardware button.

The default home screen, or rather an electronic dial, displays the time, date, day of the week, steps taken per day, and calories burned.

There are only three dial blanks (including the standard one). Switching between them is only possible via the smartphone app.

A long press in the dial mode displays information about the firmware version, MAC address, bluetooth status and the approximate remaining charge of the built-in battery.

There are only seven items in the main menu:


  • Steps – the counter of the steps taken during the day.
  • Distance is the distance traveled in kilometers.
  • Calories – the estimated number of kilocalories spent per day.
  • Heart rate – measurement of the pulse (heart rate).
  • Training – the mode of accumulating statistics on sports activities. Contains seven submenus with different templates for sports activities: walking, running, cycling, jumping rope, badminton, basketball, football. Accounting in each of them is turned on and off by a long touch to the sensory area.
  • Messages – section of notifications from instant messengers arriving on a smartphone. Data is read via bluetooth when the Da Fit program is running in the background. Appropriate permissions for the program must be granted in the privacy settings. Compatible programs with notifications: Phone, Messages (SMS), Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Skype, Instagram, Line, KakaoTalk, WeChat. The display shows the sender’s name from the address book and the message text. Images and emoji are replaced with text. It fits six lines of 20 characters each.

The watch strap is soft, skin-friendly. The stock of length adjustment is enough for both thin and rather grasping wrists. The watch will suit even a child over the age of 8. The shape of the case is unisex, but the watch looks a bit large on thin women’s wrists.


Navigating the menu takes some getting used to. After the fully touchscreen displays of smartphones, the control of one “button” at first seems inconvenient, but literally after a couple of hours you no longer notice this nuance. It is easy to touch the touch area by accident, but given that confirmation of actions requires long-term touches, a couple of statistical screens will be scrolled by accident at most.

The notifications received by the watch are accompanied by vibration, which is perhaps stronger than required. After all, the device is always on the hand, not in your pocket. Incoming messages of instant messengers are displayed correctly, but the priority is always the first unread, which is not always convenient.

Heart rate control is fairly accurate. The sensor flashes green during measurement. The clock sensor readings differed from the measurements of the A&D UB-201 digital tonometer by only 2-4 beats per minute. For sports activities, such a small error does not matter. In the Da Fit settings, you can enable regular measurements throughout the day, which will surely come in handy for someone. But the battery consumption will also increase significantly. Even when the auto-pulse mode is turned off, the watch occasionally makes a couple of flashes with the sensor, most likely to check whether they are on the wrist or not.

The accuracy of step counting does not stand out against the background of similar watches and bracelets with built-in accelerometers. In a calm state, extra steps are practically not counted, as is the case with some fitness devices. With the training regime, the accounting is close to the actual actions performed. Burned calories are directly related to the pedometer and are generally reasonable.

The operating time of the watch on a full charge of the built-in battery is close to the value declared by the manufacturer with an average intensity of work with the menu and heart rate measurements. In general, up to a week on a single charge is a completely realistic result with an average screen brightness and periodic manual heart rate monitoring throughout the day.

Full charging through the included adapter strongly depends on the power of the USB port to which it is connected. This will happen faster from the smartphone’s power supply, and slower from old USB 2.0 ports of computers. Using the example of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro USB charger, the recovery time from a fully discharged state was 1 hour 15 minutes.


At its core, the ZTE Y8 smartwatch is more of a fitness smartwatch in a slightly different case format. Against the background of similar inexpensive devices, one can note their rather pleasant and neat design., high-quality assembly, protection from dust and short-term moisture penetration, a convenient strap and a good set of functions tied to taking into account daily activity and sports load.

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